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Parish Priest

Burlington, VT: (Feb-08-08) A child sexual molestation lawsuit was brought against the Vermont Roman Catholic diocese, alleging that it was responsible for the long-ago molestation of a child by a parish priest. The case was filed by John Perrotte, 41, of South Hero, who claimed that the diocese was to blame for his 1980 molestation in Milton at the hands of the Rev. Alfred Willis. According to court papers, Willis was assigned to St. Ann Church in Milton in 1979 and was removed from the parish in 1980 after parents complained to church officials and the Chittenden County state's attorney about Willis' sexual conduct with boys. Internal church records on file at Chittenden Superior Court show that then-Bishop John Marshall knew about Willis' past conduct with boys at St. Anthony Church in Burlington when Willis was assigned to St. Ann Church in Milton.

Sources close to the case stated that the two sides had reached a settlement, resolving the dispute. As part of the agreement, the state's Roman Catholic diocese agreed to pay $170,000, resolving allegations. Sources said that the recent settlement is the fifth made by the diocese since 2002 in cases involving claims that priests employed by the diocese had molested children. The largest settlement, in 2006, was for $965,000. [BURLINGTON FREE PRESS: PRIEST ABUSE]

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Published on Feb-12-08


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